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Dajobo

CyberNations and the magic beanstalk

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I have decided to write this wall of text because the negativity about the future of CN is driving me crazy.  Yes our numbers have declined but with around ten thousand players we have well and truly enough critical mass that we can turn it around! Sadly, the magic beanstalk is a lie. There isn’t one, but to get CN growing again there are things we can do as a community that will slowly restore our game.

Before I get into details I think we need to talk about some basics and give them some thought.

 

The IC/OOC divide. Learn the difference people! It’s real and it’s very important. We are all members of the same community here and we all should share a common goal. That goal is to be part of a game together that is fun for all of us and welcoming to new players. If we can’t keep that most basic element clear in our heads we will always struggle. CN has lost some terrific players and contributors due to OOC attacks over the years. Let’s not get hung up on blaming and punishing, but simply learn from it and stamp it out going forward.

 

I have read numerous people blaming micro’s as part of the problem. It’s hogwash. Alliance size is irrelevant to player retention. What matters is regardless of size that alliances welcome, foster and educate new players. Ten members or two hundred members doesn’t matter at all for this. The alliances who succeed at engaging and educating their members will grow and those who don’t will fail. It is that simple. Almost every alliance started small.

 

The next favourite scapegoat is politics and lack of wars. The reality is some players love war and it’s critical to their enjoyment. Others love peace and growth. Large alliances are accused of tying up the web with treaties and then just following their treaties. This isn’t really the case though as leading into wars alliances are dropping and signing treaties all over the place. Large alliances are adjusting their obligations pre-war so they are positioned where they want to be before the war even starts. The length and frequency of wars are dictated by the reality of the games mechanics. In modern CN people have huge warchests. Alliances will fight until those warchests are low and when they can see that it’s impacting their rebuild they will then start to look to end it. If we want shorter wars more often, the mechanics need to change.

 

Attitude is everything if we want this place to grow again. If you don’t like CN or want it to die, leave. I don’t want to hear it and I don’t want to read it. Neither do the rest of us!

 

 

 

What we can do

 

Helping new players find the right alliance for them first up would be a good start. Would it be that hard to us to work together to create an alliance guide that gives new players some understanding of what different alliances are about? A simple non-discriminatory guide to try and help people start in an alliance they are likely to enjoy.

 

Example :

Alliance Name – Demo Alliance

Size – Medium

Government Type – Democracy

Colour – Blue

Allows Tech Raiding – No

Suitable for – Experienced Players

Forum rules – PG13

Link – www.demoalliance.com/forum

 

You get the gist of it…

 

We can help simply by thinking about our own conduct and attitude. Rayvon will state NSO are the greatest alliance, Stewie may say NG are and I will say Polar is. The truth is we are all right. So is every other alliance leader who believes their alliance is the best. They are the best for us. We need to keep politics out of this part of the game and direct players to where is best for them. Talk each other and the game up, not down.

 

Look hard at the "suggestion box" board and try to put the interest of the game above what might be best for our own alliance. Ultimately we’ll all be better off that way.

 

 

What admin could do

 

Depending on us creating a guide, maybe admin could add a link to it in the welcome message for new players.

 

Change the balance of the game to discourage monster warchests. I see this as the single change that would most dramatically affect the games viability long term. If people can’t fight for months then rebuild instantly they won’t fight for months. If it only takes a few months to build an appropriate warchest then people won’t spent a year saving one. The net result would be shorter wars more often.

 

Investigate ways to allow legitimate people to have the same IP address. I don’t have solution but I really hope this issue isn’t doomed forever to the too hard basket. Over the years I have played I’ve seen many players who began as a school class room exercise (technically the entire class are in breach of the rules) or joined because their sibling etc recommended the game. It’s is the only game I know of where two brothers for example living at home with a wifi network cant both play.

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I like the idea of an alliance guide, but there's already the Player Created Alliances section.

There could also be a category for how tight restrictions on joining are, but that would be fairly subjective I'd think.

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Alliance guide sounds like a great idea to me; had someone ask the open-ended "any ideas on where I should go?" recently, and could only point him to the PCA forum, and the threads there really don't have that much information or differentiation. 

Heck, once a relatively comprehensive guide was put together, some technically-gifted person could even create a quick program where players could input what they were looking for and get a list of the AAs that most fit their criteria. 

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Could the alliance guide be something worked into the game? We already have basic information on alliances (forums, leader, etc), would it be possible to just add some more fields and than make a huge list? That way it's easier to access from the moment they sign up rather than having to make it to the forums.

 

Not sure on how we can control war chest sizes.

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interesting ideas Dajobo. I like the thought behind this thread. I like the idea of something Admin could work ingame of a AA guide (for like AA's with 10 or more members)

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What we can do
 
Raid NpO
 
Game instantly becomes more enjoyable.


What we could do:

Destroy Mushqaeda

Oh wait

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I like the idea of an alliance guide, but there's already the Player Created Alliances section.

There could also be a category for how tight restrictions on joining are, but that would be fairly subjective I'd think.


What if there was a link to your Alliance's Post in the Player Created Alliance forum on your Alliance's in game description.

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This is, hands, down, the best thread the OWF has seen in a long time.  Each of Dajobo's points are viable, apart from the war chests, which nobody would be willing to get rid of.  I personally would be willing to help compile a list of alliance descriptions as he pointed out.

 

I might have missed the reasoning, but why can't two plus nations on the same IP not play the game if they do not aid, trade, war, not in same alliance etc.  or interact with each other in any way?  

Edited by Mandrivia_2

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The warchest are easily addressed as well Mandrivia.

 

One way would be to simply modify the cap from $1,000,000 + modifiers to a cap of 0.05% or $1,000,000 + Modifiers for a winning GA, whichever is greater.

 

Hold a WC of 10B and you feed the enemy $5,000,000 when they win a GA on you. This means at some point holding that much cash becomes bad for you as you begin to help fund their wars.

 

Note: Math is not my strong point so someone might check my 0.05% is correct!

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Attitude is everything if we want this place to grow again. If you don’t like CN or want it to die, leave. I don’t want to hear it and I don’t want to read it. Neither do the rest of us!

 

This is something I really agree with. There are a lot of players with big honking war chests out there that swear up and down they hate CN and don't want to play it anymore, yet they stick around gumming it up for newer players that haven't had time to build their nations up.

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Looking at the alliance guide part of it, couldn't that be done pretty easily with a Google Form survey?

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I think Dajobo raises a few good points and I like the idea of the alliance guide.

 

The PCA subforum is one thing, but it doesn't really do anything to help match up new players to an alliance that will fit their needs/wants in an alliance. Creating a short questionnaire of some type that any newer nation has to fill out relating to their desires would be beneficial if it could spit out some sort of "percentage of fit" in X, Y, Z alliances. Of course this percentage of fit would only be as accurate as the new ruler relates to and becomes integrated into a particular alliance's culture and community. However, if we can at least point people in the best general direction there may be an increased chance that we can actually retain our new players. Such a questionnaire would probably be best if it could actually be integrated into CN somehow rather than being on an off-site forum or at the very least a link to it should be featured somewhere easily accessible in CN.

 

The point of keeping negativity and the inevitable demise of CN out of every public thread stands as well. Dajobo is absolutely correct in stating that most people are really fed up with reading it on a nearly daily basis. Instead of being so damn pessimistic we should be working together and making a concerted community effort to re-grow the game that so many of us have enjoyed for the last several years. If you are content with the state of things or don't have the time or energy to commit to helping rebuild the game and our player base, at least have the decency to not work against those of us that do want to see the game thrive.

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What we could do:

Destroy Mushqaeda

Oh wait


Mushqaeda is not dead... Tamerlane still lives.
 

Alliance Name – Non Grata

Size – 13"

Government Type – Triumvirate, Non elected.

Colour – Maroon

Allows Tech Raiding – Yes

Suitable for – People who want to have fun

Forum rules – Freedom of Speech - say what you want.

Link – non-grata.net

Edited by Stewie

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Great thread, I sincerely hope we can come up with a viable solution for our declining numbers. On that note I will throw in my suggestion on how we can increase player retention. I had some spare time earlier today and decided to try and recruit some new tech sellers for my alliance. It killed me to see that 9/10 nations I sifted through at ~25 days old were three or more than three weeks inactive. IMO the problem is not the number of players creating nations, we have plenty, it's finding a way to retain them. Here is my suggestion,

 

1) Highlight the benefits of joining a community (alliance) in CN in the welcome message every nation receives upon it's creation  

2) Offer a cash incentive (6m?) paid from the game itself for joining an alliance.

 

Highlighting the benefits of alliances in the initial welcome message combined with a cash incentive could potentially be a great catalyst for encouraging new players to be more open to recruitment which in theory should increase retention simply by interacting with the greater community.  

 

   

 

 

 

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Great thread, I sincerely hope we can come up with a viable solution for our declining numbers. On that note I will throw in my suggestion on how we can increase player retention. I had some spare time earlier today and decided to try and recruit some new tech sellers for my alliance. It killed me to see that 9/10 nations I sifted through at ~25 days old were three or more than three weeks inactive. IMO the problem is not the number of players creating nations, we have plenty, it's finding a way to retain them. Here is my suggestion,

 

1) Highlight the benefits of joining a community (alliance) in CN in the welcome message every nation receives upon it's creation  

2) Offer a cash incentive (6m?) paid from the game itself for joining an alliance.

 

Highlighting the benefits of alliances in the initial welcome message combined with a cash incentive could potentially be a great catalyst for encouraging new players to be more open to recruitment which in theory should increase retention simply by interacting with the greater community.  

 

   

 

 

 

I absolutely love this idea.

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disagree with the multiple nations per network. it's so easy to abuse and virtually unpoliceable -- and allowing multiple nations per ip isn't allowed in nearly all browser games (and usually only one cd key, etc for non browser games,) for that reason.

 

other than that, game mechanic tweaks to bring more balance to the game for younger nations as opposed to older nations are long overdue, as well as changes that would allow large, accumulated cash reserves to be spent quickly at higher levels.

 

the guide would be an improvement over the archaic and largely spam filled "alliance post," thread on the forum.

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I have to actually agree whole heartedly with the key points made in the OP here. Daj hits the nail on the head 100%. The attitude, the warchest /mechanics issue, the way we treat and engage new players, even the IP issue (I had several hurdles to jump years ago when me and work mate both wanted to play in our lunch breaks, required a lot of inconvenience and some internet cafe's - I mean really did it have to be that hard?).

Well said mate.

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What we can do

 

Raid NpO

 

Game instantly becomes more enjoyable.

Agreed.

 

 

This is something I really agree with. There are a lot of players with big honking war chests out there that swear up and down they hate CN and don't want to play it anymore, yet they stick around gumming it up for newer players that haven't had time to build their nations up.

Those are the worst.

 


1) Highlight the benefits of joining a community (alliance) in CN in the welcome message every nation receives upon it's creation  

2) Offer a cash incentive (6m?) paid from the game itself for joining an alliance.

Those are very good ideas. Additionally, unaligned players could be sent a notification every couple weeks informing them of the benefits of joining an alliance. Kind of like how we are reminded to donate and vote in the Senate.

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As far as war mechanics go, what if you not only needed a certain amount of tech or infra to purchase war wonders, but also needed that to maintain them?

 

This would prevent the low tier wrecking balls so unfair to newer players.  So you buy the WRC, but if you get enough tech/infra loss, you lose the ability to use that wonder.  You don't have to re-buy it again, but you have to build back up the tech and infra to use it.  With the MP, you could still use any nukes you have already purchased, but no buying any more until you have the tech/infra on hand to support their purchase.

 

Seems like that would really balance the wars out.  Haven't really thought this one out, just came to me.

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As far as war mechanics go, what if you not only needed a certain amount of tech or infra to purchase war wonders, but also needed that to maintain them?

 

This would prevent the low tier wrecking balls so unfair to newer players.  So you buy the WRC, but if you get enough tech/infra loss, you lose the ability to use that wonder.  You don't have to re-buy it again, but you have to build back up the tech and infra to use it.  With the MP, you could still use any nukes you have already purchased, but no buying any more until you have the tech/infra on hand to support their purchase.

 

Seems like that would really balance the wars out.  Haven't really thought this one out, just came to me.

This seems like a good idea. That way smaller nations don't get destroyed by the bigger ones that drop down. I also like the cash incentive from the game to join an alliance as well.

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I have decided to write this wall of text because the negativity about the future of CN is driving me crazy.  Yes our numbers have declined but with around ten thousand players we have well and truly enough critical mass that we can turn it around! Sadly, the magic beanstalk is a lie. There isn’t one, but to get CN growing again there are things we can do as a community that will slowly restore our game.

I like where this is going...if just one person recruited one additional person to play (new, former player, whatever) and they stuck around, we'd instantly have player levels back where they were in 2009.

 

The IC/OOC divide.

 

A problem since 2007 and even now there are people who should get it, but still attempt to exploit OOC information/rumor/damn lies for IC gain or decide they don't like a player and attempt to "blackball" them from CN.  If you are one of those people who just can't help themselves, just !@#$@#$ quit already.

 

I have read numerous people blaming micro’s as part of the problem. It’s hogwash.

The people saying that have forgotten what it was like to be in a small start up, trying to be something other than a small start up, or simply never had the experience.  The day that people can't go out and do a start up alliance is the day it's time to shut down the servers, because this game will have become totally fossilized.

 

The next favourite scapegoat is politics and lack of wars.

In reality there is 0% correlation between player retention and large wars.  If anything, player numbers either remain stagnant or go down long term after a large war.

 

The length and frequency of wars are dictated by the reality of the games mechanics. In modern CN people have huge warchests. Alliances will fight until those warchests are low and when they can see that it’s impacting their rebuild they will then start to look to end it. If we want shorter wars more often, the mechanics need to change.

In "ancient times", some nations specialized in being bank nations, accumulating large amounts of money which they then dished out just before the war started and then periodically as the conflict dragged on.  What changed is that players figured out that it is more efficient for nations to retain their own large warchests rather relying on bank nations.  What also changed is that the average nation size became larger, so accumulating a large warchest on your own became more practical.  Unlike you, I don't see that a mechanical change is necessary.  If however alliances stopped making silly demands for massive reps up front in their negotiations and set reasonable surrender terms, and stopped insisting on hanging around until alliance XYZ and alliance ABC get white peace or some such, then wars would get much, much shorter.  It's therefore a player issue. 

 

Attitude is everything if we want this place to grow again. If you don’t like CN or want it to die, leave. I don’t want to hear it and I don’t want to read it. Neither do the rest of us!

QFT.

Edited by ChairmanHal

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